[P&Q] and a little extra.

[image by me. please don't steal. it's mean.]

"Each of us has a spark of life inside us, our highest endeavor ought to be to set off that SPARK in one another." 
-Kenny Ausubel-

This. This is the exact reason why I wanted to be a teacher.
I wanted to be an influence for good.
I have mixed emotions about this past semester.
It was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
I have learned so much, and grown.
I loved it.
I'm grateful for this opportunity I had to teach, and be taught.
And the opportunities that I know will come,
be they in a classroom,
or not.

What Kylie Loves: trejo love.

It's kinda hard to find good, clean, funny entertainment these days.
I don't remember how or when I found Arturo Trejo, but I've been hooked for months.
I get email updates when he posts new videos.
My only regret is that I have not shared this with you sooner.
I'm sorry, ok?? So terribly sorry.

This is the first video I saw, and it's still my favorite. But after you watch this one, you should go to his channel and watch more. You won't regret it.

And if you do regret it, or don't think this is funny....you should be banished to the depths of outer space.
K, not really. You should watch this one too. See if it changes your mind.


If you're not literally laughing-out-loud....well....do you have a sense of humor? Do you even like babies??

Just kidding. But seriously. You can thank me in the comments.

PS. It's still November...so I'm thankful for laughter, YouTube, and cute babies.

a heart full of thanksgiving.


I'm thankful for being able to see TJ's family for a bit before heading to Mesa on Wednesday.
I'm thankful for being able to see my family for about 3 days.
I'm thankful for the absolutely amazing pumpkin pie that my aunt made. It pays having a cousin who's a pastry chef.
I'm thankful for spending time with tons of family.
I'm thankful for laughter.
I'm thankful for eternal families.
I'm thankful that I did not have to endure a ton of Black Friday mayhem.
I'm thankful for Costa Vida. [Amen.]
I'm thankful for leftovers.
I'm thankful for cheesy Christmas movies watched with family.
I'm thankful TJ is learning to love cheesy Christmas movies as much as I do.
I'm thankful that we were able to sleep in, relax in bed together this morning before church.
I'm thankful for priesthood leaders who know exactly what to say, even when they don't know it.
I'm thankful for the principle of tithing, and the blessings we gain from it.
I'm grateful for my knowledge of the Restoration.
I'm grateful for this gospel.
I'm grateful for the little things.
I'm grateful for love.

I hope this gratitude remains in my heart throughout the year to come.
May you feel it in yours as well.

words of affirmation.

If you've ever heard of the "love languages," then you've heard words of affirmation is one of them.
[If you've never heard of "love languages," google it. I'm sure there's a quiz somewhere to find out whcih one is yours. Moving on...]
It's definitely my love language....and pretty much my everyday language. If that makes sense.
I feel the need to hear verbally when I'm doing well in all aspects of my life.
It doesn't mean I can't feel good about myself by myself, it just means, essentially, that compliments help me.

For instance, when I heard that a recent photo client told TJ, "We just love our photos. We already have them hanging in our home, and we get so many compliments on them," it made me feel good about my skills in photography.

When my cooperating teacher tells me that I'm doing a good job, and that I'm a natural teacher, it builds my confidence in my ability to teach.

When TJ tells me I look pretty, or the meal I made was delicious, or the project I finished looks really nice, I feel built up in those areas.

Words mean a lot to me. Sometimes, more than they should.

I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to express myself through words. I'm grateful for the words of affirmation I receive from others. I'm grateful for the inspiration I gain from reading the words of others.

I took a linguistics class last semester. I actually really enjoyed it. In that class, I learned something: that nearly every sentence we say or compose is completely unique. How incredible is that? As human beings, we are constantly creating language.

This blog has given me an opportunity to share my words. Create my own language, so to speak. It's also given me the opportunity to be part of a community, and to receive words of affirmation from those I've "met."

My words mean something to me, just as yours do. So thanks :)

recent clients.

I'm always nervous before a shoot. Yet, I find myself gaining a little more confidence with every one I do. I definitely am learning a lot, and realizing I have a lot more to learn. I'm really critical of my own work, but if my client is happy it makes it a little easier. I've been lucky to have some amazing people ask me to take their pictures, and they have made my job a little easier. Here are some of my personal favorites from my recent sessions.

[Alia, college senior]


[A. Family]




[H. Family]



[C. Family]



What do you think? Do you have a favorite?

on my mind right this second.


A few quick things on my mind:

1. I now know what my mother meant when she said the holidays are stressful. Can I please put one more thing on my own calendar? I love it though :) It's all happy stuff! Here's a taste:

  • Create and send out grad announcements.
  • Plan and execute a grad party-ish-thing. (Graduating a semester early makes for graduating at the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year.")
  • Plan and execute roommate ornament-making party with the help and talents of Emma.
  • Plan and execute a Christmas get-together with couples friends.
  • Plan and make Christmas gifts.
  • Make and list new items for my etsy.
  • Photo shoots.
  • Traveling for the holiday season. Thank goodness it's a less-than-3-hour trip. 
It's upon us, folks!

2. I cannot wait for the movie "The Vow" to come out in February. WHY must they torture me now with swoon-worthy completely chick-flick-esque trailers?? I heart Rachel McAdams. And let's be honest....even if his acting isn't stellar....Channing Tatum ain't so bad himself. [I'm just a lil' worried about the sex content.]


3. I really need to get my apartment looking less like a dungeon full of boxes, more like a home.

PS. Right now I'm super thankful for productivity. It makes me happy!

my staff of life.

I love that awkward moment when you're sitting at your computadora,
Catching up on blogs (when you should be making dinner....no worries, TJ's off playing ball),
And you look down and realize there's melted chocolate on your shirt.

I do what any sane woman would do, and licked it clean. No shame.
(Don't worry, I promise there is not a huge wet spot on my shirt now. That would be gross.)

Today is definitely a day to be grateful for chocolate. So chocolate it is.
Can I get an amen?!

Chocolate. Amen.
[Chocolate of choice. Click image for source.]


Oh, and please do read Julie's post below. Another thing I'm grateful for: poignant reminders of what matters most.

moving.

Moving is stressful.
You have to pack up all of your junk from the old place into boxes,
And transport it all to the new place.
The packing seems to take forever, 
Especially when you've been there for a year and a half,
And you're trying to get rid of the real junk,
And you're slap-happy tired.
Oh, plus your lovely neighbors are partying. it. UP!

All of this combined makes for situations where you're laughing at every little thing and possibly pause your packing just to laugh for 30 minutes.

Yep, that totally happened on Thursday night.

But packing isn't even the worst part!
The worst part is the un-packing.
That time when you're trying to figure out where to put everything,
Get rid of more junk,
And saying, "Hey babe, where's the [____]?"
And getting the response, "Oh! It's in a box. Somewhere."

It's great stuff, I tell ya.

All that being said,
I'm grateful we had the opportunity to move into a bigger space in a more family-oriented atmosphere.
And I'm grateful for TJ for being patient with me as I try to organize it and get it just so.
I'm grateful for a clean slate and a fresh start.

PS. Today, TJ and I reached the 18 month marker since the day we were married. I can't believe it's gone so quickly and slowly at the same time :)

time out.

The first weekend of November, I had the opportunity to go to Time Out for Women with the women in TJ's family. I also got to invite my mom and sister to tag along. I'd never been before and it was quite the experience. Time Out for Women is a special conference put on by members of the church, where women go to hear motivational speakers and listen to special musical performers. It was quite the weekend! It spanned over Friday night and almost all day Saturday. I loved being able to go and be uplifted. The theme for this year's conference was "Choose to Become." The messages I heard were perfect for me and for things I've been struggling with. I came home with a renewed desire to commit to being better in all aspects of my life. I took copious notes and a few pictures.

The conference was held in the Phoenix Convention Center. It was huge. And sold out.

They actually told us to keep our phones on (just on silent) so that we could share our experience as it happened....it was a little strange to look down our row and see this:

During lunch on Saturday, I left my camera with our group, and Hannah snapped this work of art that some ladies created with their trash. I suppose they were bored.

My favorite speaker/performer was Hilary Weeks. She was so beautiful, so down-to-earth, and so real. I loved her music and her stories. I'm going to share her latest music video at the end of this post. I felt like I could really relate to her "become" journey, which was about changing little things in her life. She spoke on how focusing on positive thoughts completely changed how her days went. She also talked about how for one month she prayed that Heavenly Father would let her know what was most important for her to do that day. She said it was never a long to-do list like she would have given herself; rather, it was one, maybe two, simple acts of service to give (for instance, one day she was prompted to write her daughter a little note, and it turns out that daughter really needed to know she was loved at that precise moment when she found the note). She was just so inspirational.

On Saturday, my mom had to go to a funeral for our close family friend, so I asked my BFF Jessica if she'd like to use her ticket. I'm so glad she said yes! I don't get to see Jess as often as I'd like to, but when I do, it's like we've never been apart. I'm so grateful for friends like that!

And here are the beautiful ladies of the in-law variety. But really, in-law has no place in their titles :) I loved being able to spend time with Mom and Hannah on the trip down, and with all of them that weekend. I'm so lucky to have married into such a fun family.

It was a lot of fun to go! It was funny to see so many Mormon women in one place. And so many pregnant women too! I ran also saw Lauren, from City Girl, Country Heart. It's a small world in the LDS church. Funny story: when Jessica, Kyndra, and I came back into the main meeting area after a break, one of the staff asked if we were supposed to be at the "Time Out for Girls" meeting (which was going on at the same time...for 12-18 yr-olds). Even though my sister is 16 and technically should have been there, Jessica and I most certainly are not. I guess looking young will pay off later in life, right??

Lastly, today I'm grateful for this beautiful woman and her inspiring message and the way she shares her amazing talent. Enjoy.

guilty.

I'm guilty of neglecting this little piece of cyberspace. But I have a good excuse! We've just spent our Veteran's Day weekend moving in to our new apartment. That's right, we upgraded from the cave to a spiffy new 2-bedroom in another family housing complex on campus. We're so excited to have some room to breathe, and I'm stoked to have a new space to decorate. I have a lot I need to post about and my redecorating adventures will provide for some new material as well. I also have to do some modifications to my huge work sample for student teaching, and I get to turn in a portfolio this week, so bear with me if I'm a little absent for another week or so. I'll try to get a couple of posts in :) Hope you had a happy Veteran's Day weekend and that you have a great week! Tell me all about it....I'll be checking in from time to time.

[Speaking of Veterans, I am so grateful for my grandpa and TJ's Papa who both served our country, and to the men and women that continue to serve. I honestly want to hug/salute soldiers every time I see them around town in uniform because I am so grateful for their sacrifice and everything they do.]

Meanwhile, here's a little image to keep my photo-lover friends satisfied:
[From our family photo shoot with Lauren.]

sparkling.

Have you ever seen the way that snow sparkles?
It's really quite beautiful.
Tonight, as I walked home from Target, the snow was "sparkling."
Kind of like sprinkling, right before it rains?
Yeah, sparkling.
Little tiny tiny flecks of ice, before the big flakes form.
Possibly just "snow dust" blowing from the fallen snow.
It looks like glitter, shimmering down in the light.

Tonight, I'm grateful for the sparkle of snow.

weekend.

I am currently recuperating from a crazy weekend, which I can't wait to tell you all about! 
In the mean time, check out my guest post on Lauren's blog, and have a happy Sunday!


Today I'm grateful for TJ. I love you so much baby, and I'm so proud of you!
[This is the face of a man who just ACED a super-hard stats test, and made it into the NAU business college!]

an anniversary of sorts.

I can hardly believe it's been a whole year since it happened.
Granted, my experience wasn't as serious or desperate as some...
but it was quite the experience for me.


I felt so incredibly blessed. Overwhelmed by the love and support and realizing just how much people cared about me. It started out as a day when I was feeling down, and ended up being a day of gratitude.
Of realizing just how precious and fragile life is.

I can use that reminder right now. Reflect on what life really means.

Because today, I'm simply grateful for living.

I heart Harry.

So, after seeing Lauren's post of a conversation with her sister yesterday I thought it was cute, and lo and behold, I had a blog-worthy text conversation with my own sister just moments ago.

Me: Knock knock.
Kyndra: Who's there?
Me: You know.
Kyndra: You know who?
Me: Exactly. AVADA KEDAVRA!
(me, waiting for praise at the awesomeness of the joke)
Kyndra: I don't get it.
Me: You-Know-Who?? Have you READ Harry Potter??
Kyndra: Nope.
Me: Repent.
Kyndra: I do every day.
Me: You know what I mean.
Kyndra: Yeah I'm saying I repent every day for not reading it.
Me: Then right your wrong, and start tonight.
Kyndra: Nah thanks.
Me: Seriously? You are missing out on true literature. A masterpiece.
Kyndra: Haha! I read half of the first one.
Me: Just get past the first. They only get better.

I am almost ashamed to post this, admitting to the world that my own sister has not experienced the magic of Potter. (Man, I'm punny.) But seriously. Harry Potter changed my life. That may be dramatic, but it's true in a way. She needs to remedy this sitchiation and get on that. Sad, so very, very sad.

Today, cheesy though it may be, I'm thankful for the many good books I've read over the years, and for the places I've traveled to thanks to those thousands of pages.

gifts.

Yesterday, I was grateful for music.

Today, I'm grateful for the chance to create.




And the chance to capture.


I'm thankful for realizing that I should do the things I love, not the things I feel obligated to do. 
(I'm no longer selling MK.)
Instead, I am doing things I love. Like creating beautiful things, and capturing this beautiful life.

I'm grateful for the gifts we each have that make us unique.

sometimes I feel broken.



....but I'm holding on. Don't we all feel this way at some point? Some days are dark, but it's the bright spots....the happy moments.... that keep me going.

*Edited to add*

Within minutes of posting "Broken," this song came up on my Pandora. Little known fact: TJ converted me to Christian rock. Oh the tender mercies... and music with meaning.